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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

274          ON THE  CHANGE  OF  REFRANGIBILITY  OF  LIGHT.
must be confessed however that these results are merely an extension of that which precisely constitutes the peculiarity of the phenomenon. For, take the case of the narrow blue band formed by ordinary daylight. Imagine a glass vessel with parallel sides to be filled with a portion of the solution, and placed so as to intercept, first the incident, and then the dispersed light. In the first position the light incident on the fluid under examination would be " epipolized" by transmission through the fluid contained in the vessel, and therefore the blue band would be cut off, whereas when the vessel was held in front of the eye the blue band would be freely transmitted. Hence the effects of the coloured glasses are analogous to, but less striking than, the effect of a stratum of the solution of sulphate of quinine in the imaginary experiment above described. There is to be sure one important difference in the two cases, namely, that in the case of the stratum of fluid the epipolic dispersion which is prevented in the fluid under examination is produced near the first surface of the stratum, whereas no such dispersion is produced, or at any rate necessarily produced, in the coloured glasses. Whatever the reader may think of the results obtained with coloured glasses, the next experiment it is presumed will be deemed conclusive.
10. The board in the window containing the lens having been replaced by a pair of boards adapted to form a vertical slit, the sun's light was reflected horizontally through the slit, and transmitted through three Munich prisms placed one after the other-close to it. A tolerably pure spectrum was thus formed at the distance of some feet from the slit. A test tube containing the solution was then placed vertically a little beyond the extreme red of the spectrum, and afterwards gradually moved horizontally through the colours. Throughout nearly the whole of the visible spectrum the light passed through the fluid as it would have done through so much water; but on arriving nearly at the violet extremity a ghost-like gleam of pale blue light shot right across the tube. On continuing to move the tube, the blue light at first increased in intensity and afterwards gradually died away. It did not however cease to appear until the tube had been moved far beyond the violet extremity of the spectrum visible on a screen. Before disappearing, the blue light was observed to be confined to an excessively thin stratum of fluid adjacent to the surface by which the light entered, whereas when it first appeared, namely